by Jeff Skinner
What once was one of the absolute gems of the PGA Tour gets under way today when The Bob Hope Classic tees off in La Quinta, California. The Hope used to be frequented by all the top stars back in the day, heck, Arnie won it five times, Johnny Miller, Billy Casper and Phil Mickelson are two time winners and Nicklaus won there back in ’63. Times have changed since Bob started this back in 1960 and The Hope doesn’t get the top flight golfers to play any longer. It’s a shame because Bob Hope was truly an ambassador of golf. Hope did more for the game than any one currently on tour today. It’s too bad the golfing landscape has changed so dramatically that a treasure like the Hope can’t attract more big names.
Bob Hope was a gift to golf and servicemen everywhere. In 1941 Hope started entertaining troops and continued to do so for over fifty years. Each Christmas he flew all over the world bringing his “Christmas Show” to servicemen in all corners of the globe. This man has had a Navy ship and an Air Force plane named after him. He was even declared an Honorary Veteran by an act of Congress in 1997, the only man ever to receive such an honor.
It may sound corny and dull but the highlight of the week for me will be when they show those old video clips of Bob Hope and his friends.